Close Up

5 September 2021: L'Atalante


Jean Vigo, 1934, 89 min
French with English subtitles

“In Jean Vigo’s hands, an unassuming tale of conjugal love becomes an achingly romantic reverie of desire and hope. Jean (Jean Dasté), a barge captain, marries Juliette (Dita Parlo), an innocent country girl, and the two climb aboard Jean’s boat, the L’Atalante – otherwise populated by an earthy first mate (Michel Simon) and a multitude of mangy cats – and embark on their new life together. Both a surprisingly erotic idyll and a clear-eyed meditation on love, L’Atalante, Vigo’s only feature-length work, is a film like no other.” – Janus Films

Part of our Essential Cinema series